Sunday, February 18, 2018

Medical Update || Shoulder Surgery & Radiation Results

We spent a Saturday evening in Chicago celebrating the 40th birthday of our bestie, Corey. (Shout out to Corey! He is the reason we ended up dating and getting married.) Dan had just enough energy to live it up and enjoy being with friends.

So this guy likes to keep me on my toes. Wednesday Dan will have surgery for a complete shoulder replacement. First thing I know is that his shoulder hurt while he golfed, and then all of the sudden we are in for a matrix bionic shoulder!

Ok, that might be extreme, but I have seen the sling he will need to use and it kind of makes him look like Robocop anyway. I am anxious about his recovery. He has had some serious fatigue the last few weeks. I think it is a cumulative effect from being on a full three months of Alcensa. (Maybe radiation related too? It’s no cake-walk for the body...)
My primary anxiety is the thought of him getting any sort of infection during or after surgery, so just keep us in your thoughts.
During all of his pre-op appointments, Dan did follow up with our oncology team which included the radiologist. His bloodwork continues to be good on Alcensa. His MRI showed the round of targeted radiation three monthsh ago accomplished its task, so we are good to go for the next while. Go ahead and pop your champagne.

I am caught in an awkward place of loving this man with everything inside of me and also thinking of his physiology; the risks of everything and the impact of every decision. I know we are so lucky to even be able to address something that is a source of pain for him and allow him to have surgery. I am also devestated by the conclusion that the majority of the deterioration of his shoulder is due to the steroids over the past three years. Damn cancer. But how can I complain about one deteriorated joint? I grieve so often for young ALKs like Dan who have lost their lives.
This is a wild place to exist in–this stage 4 lung cancer reality. I often look at him and don’t realize what has happened—it is just him. But more times than not, I am taking it all into a full account. I risk sounding moody and gloomy for the fact that I feel I have to give an honest account of our journey. It is ours alone, after all. Just us.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday Notes || 2.4.18

Things that made me smile the last two weeks … What made you smile?
Having drinks with my neighbor and friend, Taylor, Friday. We used some of my mom’s glasses from the hutch collections to sip our blueberry sour lambic. She helped me untangle ribbon for the gift boxes. We talked about anything and everything while the kids played. You know, adulthood?
Raine describing the new business to his buddy: My mom got a business. She makes boxes (gesturing to them). She puts little surprises inside and when people open them, they’re like, “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Should I make that my tag line?
The sun. I know everyone here thinks it is so gloomy and awful in the winter, but OMG THE SUN. There is so much sunlight through the winter! Oregon truly is vampire land. (Don’t get me wrong–I still miss home.)

Berry. I can’t have a baby so I got a hamster. Every time I see her, she makes me smile. She’s just so darn cute!!! She is usually in Raine’s bedroom but I like to bring her out and sit her next to me while I’m at the computer. She performs parkour sometimes. Just like Raine.

I finally put a bookcase together for our bedroom. I KNOW. ISN’T THIS EXCITING STUFF. If you can believe it, I still feel like I am moving in and trying to get settled–after 8 months. There have been stages to move through learning how to make the space ours and honor my mom while packing some things away or using them ourselves. It’s tricky. Anyway, as I accomplish parts of nesting, it makes me smile. And I think she would like what I have done.

Watching Dan read. It fills my heart up. We both read voraciously as children and young adults. Somewhere in life, though, you get busy as you get older and it is easy to lose that habit. I’ve said it before that he has enjoyed reading more since his diagnosis. He read at chemo treatments and now that he is using disability and not working, he reads so much. And he is fast. He just finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (he recommends it) and is currently reading Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. I just finished Homegoing and loved it.

My dad and I built our first wooden box together and it took two hours. We ended up with a smaller box than intended because we couldn’t figure out what we were doing wrong when it didn’t fit right. We kept cutting until I wondered if we were going to have anything left? We slept on it and both realized we should have had a design planned. Regardless, he fixed it.

I'm finally realizing the dream of a gift box business!